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更新时间:2017/11/23 20:23:30 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Why Romanians are obsessed with garlic

Transylvania’s winding, misty roads, castles and medieval fortresses set the stage for some of Europe’s darkest legends, the most famous of which is Count Dracula.

罗马尼亚的特兰西瓦尼亚(Transylvania)盘旋曲折、浓雾弥漫的公路、堡垒和中世纪要塞曾经是一些欧洲历史上最黑暗的往事的发生地,德古拉伯爵(Count Dracula)的故事就是其中最有名的一个。

Despite having never set foot in Transylvania himself, 19th-Century author Bram Stoker based his vampire lore on the strigoi (from the Latin ‘striga’ meaning ‘witch’ or ‘evil spirit’) thanks to a book he found in England's Whitby Library called An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. In the book, Vlad Tepes, a historical ruler who fought against invading Turks, caught his attention. He was son of Vlad Dracul of the House of Drăculești and was the perfect character on whom to rest his blood-sucking main character.

19世纪作家布莱姆·斯托克(Bram Stoker)从未到过特兰西瓦尼亚,他写作著名吸血鬼僵尸小说的灵感来自于他在英国惠特比(Whitby)图书馆里发现的一本名为《瓦拉几亚和摩尔多瓦大公国传说》(An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia)的书。在书里,一个名为弗拉德·特皮斯(Vlad Tepes),曾经英勇奋战抵御土耳其人入侵的国王引起了他的注意。他是德拉库勒斯第家族(House of Drăculești)传人弗拉德·德古拉(Vlad Dracul)的儿子,这个人物来担当他的吸血鬼角色再合适不过了。

Although Stoker’s Dracula was fictional, dark spirits have long existed in Eastern European folklore, as has the use of garlic to ward them off.


Through practices passed down through generations, garlic is thought to protect people and homes from evil spirits, as well as curing sickness such as colds and coughs. The strigoi are believed to suck the milk from mothers and cows (the inspiration for Stoker’s blood-sucking vampires), which is why Romanian peasants have long protected their livestock by smearing their horns with garlic.


But beyond folklore, garlic is a must on every Romanian’s plate.


One evening I was feasting with friends at Conacul Brătescu, a Romanian restaurant located a 10-minute walk from Bran Castle (the inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula’s Castle). A group of tourists on the next table were watching with inquisitive eyes as we smothered our trout and polenta in mujdei, a pungent Romanian sauce made from crushed garlic cloves that are salted and vigorously mixed with water and sunflower oil, or yoghurt in some cases. While many people eschew garlic in their food for fear of smelling of it, Romanians have a cult-like appreciation for the plant. The principle is simple: the more, the better.

一天晚上,我在一家名叫Conacul Brătescu的罗马尼亚餐厅大吃大喝。这家餐厅距离布兰城堡(Bran Castle)只有十分钟的脚程,布兰城堡是斯托克书中创作德古拉伯爵城堡的灵感来源。在餐桌上,我们吞下了加了Mujdei酱的三文鱼和玉米粥,Mujdei酱是一种用蒜瓣、盐和葵花籽油(有时还加酸奶)做成的酱料。它的气味实在太过浓烈,以至于隔壁一桌的游客目瞪口呆,对我们愉快地咀嚼着这些如此特殊的食物大感震惊。尽管有很多人不喜欢大蒜的特殊气味,但罗马尼亚人对它却有着狂热的偏爱。每当谈到大蒜,罗马尼亚人总是说:越多越好。

“It just doesn’t taste the same without,” my friend Alexandru Pavelescu exclaimed.

"没有大蒜,就不会有这种味道,"我的朋友亚历山德罗·帕佛列斯库(Alexandru Pavelescu)大声说道。

Two more generous portions of mujdei were brought in and finished in a matter of minutes, both as a sauce for the fish or simply spread on bread.


Deemed irreplaceable in flavouring steaks and other foods, garlic has always been a widespread crop in Romania. In Copălău village in Botosani County, the aromatic plant is cultivated by more than 40% of the locals. Considered unique due to the remote settlement’s soil quality, the garlic of Copălău has gained fame both nationally and internationally – so much so that the county’s agricultural authorities are preparing to register it as a product with a protected geographical indication.


At a home level, garlic is used in ciorbă, the word for the country’s many soups containing vegetables and meat, such as ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup) or its lighter version, ciorbă rădăuţeană made with chicken. Present on every menu, the popular skinless ground beef and pork sausages known as mici owe their juicy, savoury taste to the generous amount of garlic in the recipe.


Aside from being an essential ingredient in Romanian cuisine, garlic has long been thought of as a magical plant. On the eve of Saint Andrew (the patron saint of Romania) on 29 November, garlic is believed to keep you safe against strigoi and moroi, evil spirits of those passed on that haunt the household of relatives still living. A Romanian Halloween of sorts, residents of rural areas both eat garlic and smear it on the corners of windows and doors to protect themselves. Rows of garlic can be seen hanging with the same purpose.

除了被用作食物外,在罗马尼亚人心目中,大蒜也一直是一种神奇的植物。在11月29日圣安德鲁(Saint Andrew,罗马尼亚保护神)节前夕,人们认为大蒜能驱除在家里盘踞的各类邪魔。圣安德鲁节是罗马尼亚版本的万圣节。在这一天,农村地区所有村民们都要吃大蒜,并将生蒜瓣涂抹在窗户上和房间的每个角落,以保护自己不受邪魔侵犯。在墙上挂着成串的大蒜也是出于同样目的。

“Due to its curing properties as an alternative remedy, garlic has been given further symbolic attributes as a ritualistic plant, bearing an apotropaic role of protection,” said Ana Iuga, ethnologist at the Romanian Peasant Museum.

"大蒜有治疗作用能治病,因此成了一种具有保护含义的仪式性植物,"罗马尼亚农民博物馆人种学家安娜·卢加(Ana Luga)说。

But it doesn’t stop here. In Romania, garlic is considered a more powerful (natural) medicine than most antibiotics, due to a compound called allicin (released when the garlic is chopped or crushed) that has similar properties as penicillin, and dishes such as garlic soup made with roasted garlic heads blended with carrots, onions, potatoes, parsnip and celery are served to combat the flu. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers pass down the tradition of smearing freshly halved garlic cloves on toast for both taste and health purposes.


“Tradition and folklore are deeply engrained into Romanian culture in a syncretism dating even before Christianity,” said Gabriela Solomon, co-founder of My Secret Romania, during a garlic-themed culinary workshop. “All the important transitions in life – birth, marriage and death – are accompanied by a set of rituals that are preserved even by highly educated people. Garlic is the leitmotif behind them.”

"传统和民间传说是罗马尼亚文化中非常重要的内容,罗马利亚的秘密(My Secret Romania)网站联合创始人加布里埃拉·所罗门(Gabriela Solomon)在一次以大蒜为主题的烹饪研讨会上说:"罗马尼亚人的出生、结婚和去世仍然遵循着传统的仪式,哪怕是受到高等教育的人也是如此。而这些仪式背后的主角,无一例外都是大蒜。"

In keeping with this national belief that garlic has miraculous powers, the Garlic Festival, currently in its fifth year, takes place each September in the Tihuţa Pass in the Bârgău mountains (Eastern Carpathians). This is where Transylvania meets Bukovina, long considered the gateway to the realm of Count Dracula as depicted in Bram Stoker’s novel under its former Hungarian name ‘Borgo Pass’. At the festival, traditional dishes with garlic are prepared, garlic wreaths are woven, and magic shows and spells are all part of the event.

为了让人们记住大蒜所拥有的神奇力量,东喀尔巴阡山(Eastern Carpathians)的Tihuta山口每年9月都会举办大蒜节,这一节日已经连续举办了五届。这座山口位于特兰西瓦尼亚和布科维纳(Bukovina)之间,人们长期以来认为这里就是布莱姆·斯托克小说里德古拉伯爵领地的入口,在小说里它用了匈牙利语名字博格(Borgo)山口。大蒜节期间会供应传统大蒜菜肴,人们会用大蒜叶编花环,还有精彩的魔术和魔咒表演。

So, whether or not vampires really exist in Romania, garlic most definitely does, in its food, medicine and ancient folklore.